Today we’re excited to release our new report that examines alternatives to material recovery in the US, where currently just one third of all municipal solid waste is recovered by recycling or composting.
Closing the Loop: Road Map for Effective Material Value Recovery provides a detailed systems analysis of international packaging recovery systems, including successful collection, sorting, and reprocessing technologies and infrastructures, as well as the waste management policies that support or limit recycling.
Focusing on material recovery in several EU nations, as well as Australia, Ontario, Canada, and rural recycling systems, the report identifies a number of emerging best practices that could be adopted within the US, such as:
• A harmonized systems approach for all packaging materials, formats, and end-of-life options
• Four- or five-bin collection systems for clean, high-quality materials
• Investment in state of the art sorting technology
• Clear and nationally-coordinated waste policies, including extended producer responsibility legislation
• Ongoing public education campaigns encouraging participation in recycling and composting
• “Hub and spoke” regional recycling in rural areas
The report is the culmination of GreenBlue’s three-year “Closing the Loop” research project—led by Project Manager Liz Shoch and funded through a grant awarded by California’s Market Development Research Grant Program with additional support from GreenBlue’s Sustainable Packaging Coalition®—which promotes more effective material recovery systems by connecting packaging designers with available recovery options.